Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Unemployment Among Youths Skyrockets to 52.2%

It was recently announced that the unemployment rate for young Americans (between 16 and 24 years old) has increased to a staggering 52.2%. This is the highest it has been since World War II and represents a significant problem for the county’s economic recovery. There has not been any real mention at any plans aimed at creating new entry-level jobs, meaning many of these youths are entering the work force with expectations of low earning potential, and a fierce job market.

"It's an extremely dire situation in the short run," said Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Washington-based Economic Policy Institute. "This group won't do as well as their parents unless the jobs situation changes."

Al Angrisani, the former assistant Labor Department secretary under President Reagan, doesn't see a turnaround in the jobs picture for entry-level workers and places the blame squarely on the Obama administration and the construction of its stimulus bill.

"There is no assistance provided for the development of job growth through small businesses, which create 70 percent of the jobs in the country," Angrisani said in an interview last week. "All those [unemployed young people] should be getting hired by small businesses."

There are six million small businesses in the country, those that employ less than 100 people, and a jobs stimulus bill should include tax credits to give incentives to those businesses to hire people, the former Labor official said.

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